This report summarizes the World Bank’s activities to support the Open Data efforts of developing countries during the period 2012 - 2017. It is largely descriptive, but Chapter 4 includes key analysis and lessons learned. The main objectives of this report are to share information within the World Bank and with its partners and client countries, and to preserve the institutional memory and highlight the lessons learned as a way to improve the development effectiveness of Open Data.
In 2012, the World Bank began assisting low- and middle-income countries with opening government data. In the last five years, we provided technical assistance and funding to over 50 countries, co-founded the Open Data for Development Partnership (OD4D), supported over 15 Open Data-focused conferences (some of them annual) and led the creation of numerous knowledge products. As a result, Open Data policies were implemented in three countries (and three more are in draft, awaiting approval), thousands of datasets were opened as free digital public goods to all interested users and hundreds of data-driven products and services were developed. These outputs enabled more equitable access to information and digital data, led to more accountable and efficient public administration and contributed to economic growth.
Funding for Open Data projects and activities is conservatively estimated at more than $50 million and has come from a variety of sources, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), World Bank’s own Bank Budget (BB), trust funds and bilateral donors. The Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB) has been the most important source of trust fund funding for Open Data initiatives in developing countries. Many Open Data activities were also co-sponsored by the governments of client countries. Provision of donor funding catalyzed longer-term investment projects, i.e., IBRD loans and IDA credits, with multi-million Open Data implementation components in at least 14 countries
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The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.